working on the cowlick

working on the cowlick, originally uploaded by kaitschott.

One of the things that I didn’t anticipate
before working with wood for the first time
is how crucial the direction of the wood grain
is to the form that one is trying to carve out.

It is not that the direction of grain
makes certain things impossible,
only sometimes difficult or awkward.

The closest analogy I can think of is
when someone has a cowlick in their hair.
You can try to cut it or comb it any way you please,
but it has a stubborn nature,
and things work out much better
if you try to work with it rather than against it.

Wood grain is like that.
With such a complex form,
I knew that every part could not run
nicely ‘with the grain.’
Some parts would not be well-oriented
and would therefore be more un-cooperative and tricky.

That bit, the concave surface leading into the tail?
That’s the cowlick of this piece.

project outline here
full photo set here